Monday, November 9, 2009

Beautifully Painful

The Outer Banks Half Marathon came and went in less than 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 24 seconds. Of course, if you account for the warmup, cooldown, and awards, the time would actually span from 5am to 1030am, for a total of five and a half hours of anxiety, excitement, exhaustion, pain, fulfillment, excitement, and every other emotion few and far between.

In the end, I came away with over a two minute PR and $650 richer in my third half marathon of life. I was also lucky enough to be considered as an "elite" athlete, even though I did not make the qualifying time coming into the half. Forunately, the race director was kind to let several of the Charlotte runners into this category because Megan and Ben submitted all of us as a very large group (thanks, guys!). I know that Bill and I will definitely be back next year to enjoy in the fun again!

The best part of OBX is the beautiful scenery coupled with the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. There are some great places to check out - Garrett and I went to the Wright Brothers Memorial, which was absolutely astounding and inspiring all in one. Except for the moment when Megan's car got hit in the driveway, the weekend was relaxing, enjoyable, and exhilirating.

In a brief race recap, I was alone for the entire race with the exception of the first two miles, when a Russian was running alongside me. This proved to make things a little bit tougher on me mentally, but I still managed to run right on my target pace for the first 8 miles. Once I got to the bridge around mile 9, my pace began to drop, the lowest point reaching a 6:33 mile on the atrocious hill. By the time I got my pace back under control, I only had one more mile and, at that time, I really just wanted the finish line to be migrated to the 12 mile mark because I was spent. The finish was pretty ugly as I could feel my form falling apart in the last 800m.

As I now relfect on my race splits, there are definitely race items to improve upon and focus on for the upcoming training cycle. For 2010 training, I need to run some more tempos as well as hill repeats. It would be ideal to have the Bueana Vista hill from when I was in college moved to Charlotte. If anyone knows of a good 800m hill in Charlotte near Dilworth or Myers Park, please let me know!

Now that OBX is over, it is back to running base miles for the next two months with minimal workouts and continuously easing back up to higher mileage to peak at 75 miles in late January. I'm not sure what's on the plate for next year's spring races, but the main goals are:

1) Foster the growth of the Charlotte Running Club.
2) Have fun.
3) Enjoy the company.
4) Achieve one new PR
5) Win at least $2000 in race earnings for the year.

Should be some good times ahead!

PS So proud of my sister who is getting back into running and training for her first half marathon!

PPS Proud of Molly N for making a tough, but smart decision during the race this past weekend. You can get your goals in the next one!


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